Ladybug Transistor Clutching Stems

Ladybug Transistor Clutching Stems
Usually, a band losing one of their core members is enough to bring about their demise, and that's what appeared to have happened to Brooklyn, NY's the Ladybug Transistor. When drummer San Fadyl passed away following an asthma attack, it would have been very easy for them to just fade away, but four years later, they're back with a new line-up and their seventh album. Clutching Stems isn't a huge departure from the band's last couple efforts, but that isn't a bad thing. And when it comes down to it, some classic jangly pop is never a terrible idea, especially when it's done well. In fact, the level of polish the band perform with make them reminiscent of other similarly long-lived bands like Versus or even the Go-Betweens, both bands whom they can happily hold their own against. The other great strength of the album is the way it deals with their obvious sadness in a way that never overwhelms, even finding moments of happiness amidst the sorrow. And while this is never going to be the album that catapults the Ladybug Transistor to the top of the heap, it is one that proves they are the best band on the Merge roster that consistently fly under the radar. (Merge)